Oct 14, Colombo: Legal approval has been granted for subscribers to obtain Number Portability Service among telecom service providers in Sri Lanka, Director-General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) Oshada Senanayake announced
The Director-General said President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s goal is to use telecommunication development fees to develop communication infrastructure in remote areas.
Because communication is a powerful factor in the national economy steps have been taken on the instructions of the President to implement a program in the field of communications targeting the national economy and not limited to dividends, the official said.
He was speaking at a media briefing organized by the Presidential Media Center via video technology this morning (14) under the theme ‘Communication to the Village’.
The Director General said under the ‘Communication to the Village’ National Program, work to complete 100% of broadband coverage in 10 districts is scheduled to commence before the end of this year. He added that all plans are in place to launch broadband facilities covering the entire island, including the remaining districts, before the end of 2022.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has taken steps to provide all necessary facilities to the communication service providers and the Telecommunication Fund will bear 50% of the cost of the towers to be constructed under the Village Communication Program, he said.
The Director General pointed out that the communication towers under construction were previously imported from foreign countries and now they are able to produce them locally empowering a new economic sector.
Although the fixtures in the coverage area are currently built for 4G technology, they are designed to be compatible with 5G technology with the upcoming technological revolution.
Online working is a trend in developed countries and In the future it will also apply to Sri Lanka, the official said adding that it has been revealed that the demand for internet communication services has increased by 40% with the Covid epidemic.
The TRC Director General said the time has come to strengthen communication infrastructure and attract foreign investors to Sri Lanka and it will increase current $ 1.5 million foreign earnings in the information and computer services sector to $ 1.8 million this year and by 2024 it could reach US $ 3 million.
The government aims to empower online education in all schools in the country in the near future and the concept of a smart classroom will help to overcome the shortage of teachers for subjects such as English, Science and Mathematics and Computer Technology. It is currently being studied as a pilot project in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and is making good progress.
Responding to questions from the media, the Director General said that the government had taken steps to reduce all communication fees in order to achieve the objectives of ‘Communication for the Village’.
The cabinet has approved the amendment to the Telecommunication Act and it would be a powerful factor in resolving the existing issues, he said.
The country needs plans for better use of technology and the preliminary work required to establish a cyber security agency and a data security regulatory body through the new amendments has already begun, Oshada Senanayake said.
Mr. Senanayake said that it was the policy of the government to protect the consumer when empowering the telecommunications sector. He also stated that the necessary legal process required to streamline the operating framework by setting up a central clearance agency and systems through all telephone operators as the next step in implementing the Number Portability service for all telephone subscribers, has been approved.